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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Aug 6;93(16):8384-9.

Specific accumulation of tumor-derived adhesion factor in tumor blood vessels and in capillary tube-like structures of cultured vascular endothelial cells.

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  • 1Division of Cell Biology, Kihara Institute for Biological Research, Yokohama City University, Japan.


Tumor-derived adhesion factor (TAF) was previously identified as a cell adhesion molecule secreted by human bladder carcinoma cell line EJ-1. To elucidate the physiological function of TAF, we examined its distribution in human normal and tumor tissues. Immunochemical staining with an anti-TAF monoclonal antibody showed that TAF was specifically accumulated in small blood vessels and capillaries within and adjacent to tumor nests, but not in those in normal tissues. Tumor blood vessel-specific staining of TAF was observed in various human cancers, such as esophagus, brain, lung, and stomach cancers. Double immunofluorescent staining showed apparent colocalization of TAF and type IV collagen in the vascular basement membrane. In vitro experiments demonstrated that TAF preferentially bound to type IV collagen among various extracellular matrix components tested. In cell culture experiments, TAF promoted adhesion of human umbilical vein endothelial cells to type IV collagen substrate and induced their morphological change. Furthermore, when the endothelial cells were induced to form capillary tube-like structures by type I collagen, TAF and type IV collagen were exclusively detected on the tubular structures. The capillary tube formation in vitro was prevented by heparin, which inhibited the binding of TAF to the endothelial cells. These results strongly suggest that TAF contributes to the organization of new capillary vessels in tumor tissues by modulating the interaction of endothelial cells with type IV collagen.

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